The 2017 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival in Review

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Wednesday, February 15th marked the close of this year's grand Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF). With over 37,500 film lovers in attendance and a total of 202 screenings showcased over the span of 23 days, this year's film festival has been a huge success! This year, facilitators of AJFF deliberately focused on enhancing audience experience and accessibility to draw in more participation both local and otherwise. As a second year participant at AJFF, I was totally excited to see which film selections would be shown this year and excited about engaging with other die-hard AJFF fans! Beginning with the opening night at the Cobb Energy Centre where guests gathered together in a classy place, enjoying all of the delectable food items there to the brilliant Alone in Berlin opening night film, nothing has been a disappointment! 

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This year, AJFF announced for the first time, Jury Award Winners delegated among various categories including best Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Short, Emerging Filmmaker, Building Bridges and Human Rights. Details and results for these awarding films can be found via www.ajff.org. Beyond that, I think it's is important to mention that this film festival is a high-quality event from start to completion, which makes you feel like you've not only learned something about the culture, but also gained a greater appreciation for the diversity and history of Jewish community as a whole.  And closing night was just as spectacular!

The finale screening for AJFF this year was the comedic drama known as The Women's Balcony. This film tells the story about a close-knit synagogue congregation that is torn apart after their dedicated women's balcony collapses during a Bar-Mitzpah. In utter shock including the rabbi's wife ending up in a coma, the congregation is swiftly engaged by the young Charismatic Rabbi David, who at first, appears to want to help them.  Gradually, they realize Rabbi David's legalistic, fundamentalist ways only end up doing the congregation more damage than good. Finally, the women of the congregation speak out and peacefully protest their objection to his directives which proves to turn matters favorably for both the men and women involved. 

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A great closing film choice followed by a kingly dessert reception lacing the upstairs and downstairs lobbies of The Woodruff Arts Centre, there is no better way that I could imagine finalizing such an excellent film festival like this one!

For more information about #AJFF2017, please visit www.ajff.org. Desserts for the closing reception were provided by Icing Cake Designs & Sweets Boutique.

Also, be sure to checkout these photos from the closing ceremony all Courtesy of Rhema Word Enterprises

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